Union Leader: “Not so fast, Frank: Edelblut should outline reforms”

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The Union Leader, in its lead editorial today urged the legislature to reconsider Senator John Reagan’s (R-Deerfield) amendment to restructure the Department of Education: 

Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut wants to shake up the educational bureaucracy in Concord. We’re all for it.

But Edelblut should provide the Legislature a more detailed road map of how he would restructure his department before lawmakers give their approval.

Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield, has introduced an amendment to an unrelated House bill that would allow Edelblut to realign the department’s four divisions, and give him broader authority over the department budget and personnel.

Edelblut says his predecessors shifted programs within the department without checking with the Legislature, and he’s trying to change the law to reflect how the department actually works.

His critics, including columnist Kathy Sullivan [here] portray this as a radical power grab. We doubt it is anything that dramatic.

But Sullivan is correct in asking that the Legislature, not the commissioner, make any changes to the education department’s organization chart.

Edelblut comes to the job as a successful business executive. He brings an outsider’s perspective to the state’s moribund education bureaucracy, which seems to be more trouble than it is worth to local school districts.

But even if Reagan and his colleagues trust Edelblut to make the right moves, would the next commissioner undo that progress?

Edelblut should bring forward his restructuring plan, and the Legislature should give it serious consideration.

Read the full article here.